SLS 3D Printer for Archaeological 3D Printing: Dinosaur Skull
Posted By Jess Hedstrom on Jun 11, 2015 |
Digging for fossils in our SLS 3D Printer…
While you were sleeping our SLS machines were running, and you won’t believe what we found.
SLS (which stands for Selective Laser Sintering) and it uses a highly specific laser that binds thin layers of polyamide powder together one layer at a time. After each round of binding with the laser, the printing bed is lowered and another layer of powder is evenly swept across the top for another round of binding.
When we open our SLS printers it’s like an archaeological dig, we brush away loose powder and use an air compressor to clean your models up, but today we found something different and it surprised all of us.
1. When the prints come out of the SLS printers they are encased in the polyamide powder but we could tell right away there’s something different about this 3D print… we didn’t know what it was, but we knew we should brake out the camera and document as much as possible. This isn’t going to be like any other dig we’ve done before.
We brushed away the extra sediment and found the outline of an organic shape. It was rounded and dome like… the kind of thing you’d replicate with a software like Sculptris.
2. We have many tools that we use to uncover prints… you might be able to find some of the very same tools in movies like Jurassic World. As we started to uncover more and more of the polyamide we see that those are clearly teeth from some sort of animal. It’s good that this thing isn’t alive!
And just as we suspected, this isn’t just any 3D print. Our SLS printer perfectly preserved and printed a dinosaur fossil. Luckily we’ve had lots of practice being super careful and gentle digging for your models! Follow us on YouTube to watch a video of this Jurassic World style dig.
3. After the powder has been brushed away and we have cleaned the 3D print up with our tools we can see that it’s a partial skull of a dinosaur… kind of like the ones that will be in the Jurassic World movie. We cannot believe what we’ve found today! We need some compressed air, so that we can make out all the fine details.
After cleaning with compressed air you can see that the teeth were perfectly preserved in the powder.
We are all going to see Jurassic World this weekend! The movie will seem more real after holding a partial dinosaur skull in your hands. We hope you enjoyed this story and don’t forget to follow us on YouTube to see a video about our archaeological dig this morning.